That’s the conclusion of a team of university researchers from the U.S. and Canada, who looked at data from thousands of couples and concluded that parents are happier than non-parents.
The study flies “directly in the face of conventional opinion,” said Catholic parenting expert Ray Guarendi.
But he worried that, with its purely naturalistic approach, the study would necessarily miss the point that religious people accept and embrace childrearing as “a gift from God.”
The researchers called their report, which was the result of three separate studies, “In Defense of Parenthood: Children Are Associated With More Joy Than Misery.”
They begin by expressing popular opinion on the subject, which is that “recent scholarly and media accounts paint a portrait of unhappy parents who find remarkably little joy in taking care of their children.”
But, when the team actually surveyed the research, they found studies on both sides of the issue, says lead researcher Katherine Nelson of the University of California, Riverside.
As for their own study, which was conducted by scholars at the University of California, Stanford University and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Nelson said, “We all got the same findings: It was a challenge to the popular view that parents were miserable. We found parents were at least as happy and often more happy.”